The Here and Now
by Ann Bashares
Book Rate: ★★★★☆
Brief Introduction (shortened from goodreads):
This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.
Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.
But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.
If you've just read the synopsis: I know it sounds amazing, and if you haven't: it sounds amazing!
But it isn't.
THE PLOT isn't. Please notice I didn't say it's bad, it is not bad, it's just not mind-blowinging fantastic. It's pretty simple and still very very gripping.
"The Here and Now" is a page-turner because of its characters and a reading-experience-changer because of its ending. Prenna is this smart teenage girl that lives in oppression but she's also a fighter. Any reader will be able to see her strenght and loyalty to her sense of justice become increasingly evident throughout the book. All the other character are insteresting in their own way but in my opinion Prenna is the most intriguing, and to be honest I think this only hit me when I finished the book because...
**BEGINING OF THE SPOILER SECTION**
Because she considered it was more important to her to lead her community than to be with the boy she had a crush on. And we never see this in most books, we never see the female protagonist walking away from a realtionship because the path they want to pursue is not compatible with having a romantic relationship. Either they always sacrifice their deepest wishes for being with their other half, or they simply don't have a biggest dream than falling in love.
And this is why I found Prenna so inspiring and refreshing, because she walked away when she thought she should.
**END OF THE SPOILER SECTION**
So all in all, 100% recommend, just don't go into it for the storyline.